Syringe Services Programs: Impact on the Spread of Communicable Diseases

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are community-based programs that provide access free of charge to sterile needles and syringes and facilitate safe disposal of used needles and syringes to prevent the spread of disease. Increases in injection drug use associated with the aftermath of the opioid crisis have led to greater interest in SSPs by federal and state policymakers.

While there is a growing body of research indicating that SSPs can be effective in reducing the spread of infectious diseases and getting injection drug users into treatment, SSPs have generated opposition primarily due to moral, social, or cultural concerns related to their association with drug use. Consequently, states have produced a variety of policy responses.


The Center for Mississippi Health Policy has produced an issue brief that summarizes the research on the impact of SSPs and examines policy considerations.  A detailed report with source citations is also available. There are links to both documents in the side bar at the left of this page.  Printed copies of the brief and report can be obtained by contacting the Center for Mississippi Health Policy at 601-709-2133 or by e-mail at